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Re: [ontolog-forum] Visual Complexity

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Rex Brooks <rexb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 05:57:27 -0800
Message-id: <p0624050bc1e64a5e45e9@[]>
Hi Everyone,    (01)

I've stayed out of this particular discussion because I've been busy 
and I reckoned that someone would touch upon what I considered to  be 
the most cogent point brought out by Pat 's clarifications of Paola's 
main points, which is what I personally consider Pat's exposition to 
be, in fact and spirit. I suspect that two factors combine to account 
for the manner in which Paola makes her case:    (02)

1. She is not a native English speaker, and English is a devilishly 
complex mix of Romance and Teutonic languages, so this factor is 
largely linguistic; and
2. Her commentary is somewhat more sociological rather than academic 
or strictly logical, so this factor requires more careful 
examination, including what Pat has already contributed.    (03)

If you take Pat's commentary as clarification more than correction, 
then I think you find a cogent and correct argument for an 
ontological reference model for informing open source efforts that 
unify the conceptual basis of scientific software development for 
semantic web applications and beyond. I do think, though, that some 
measure of correction of logical constructions is probably also 
necessary, though I confess I haven't given it my complete attention, 
and likely won't have time to do so for a while.    (04)

Since I am at this, I may as well confess my own favorite hobbyhorse: 
semantic analysis based on a combination of linguistic analysis with 
sound epistemology and operations research should provide two very 
necessary tools for our collective conceptual armamentarium:    (05)

1. Highly focusable semantic analysis; and,
2. Greatly improved decision supporting ontologies (borrowed from 
Bob's presentation last week).    (06)

These two tools are what I'm working to fashion into a subset of 
situational analysis that is capable of being automated in order to 
sort through mountains of daily inputs in order to glean significant 
data related to user-defined criteria.    (07)

I suspect that an open ontology development environment with rigorous 
constraints would aid this effort immeasurably.    (08)

Long term, I am hoping to provide this toolset to the domains of 
emergency management and health informatics. You can probably guess 
why I didn't attempt to explain this collection of concepts in favor 
of the view from the trenches of practical emergency management IT 
standards development.    (09)

Rex    (010)

>I also thought the song was supporting my statement there
>a lot of points you make below,
>Same as for  Pat, thanks for taking the time and lets continue this
>reasoning, maybe I ll have to explain my arguments and rationale a bit
>more, but now dont have the time, will do.
>I am generally the one who makes the philosophy argument, but in the
>case of the OOnt thing, it's merely intended to support development so
>the requirements
>aims to help people build specifications for ontologies that need to be used
>by open source systems
>I ll have to make that clearer perhaps
>feel free to add your stuff, maybe on subpages if you prefer to keep
>the arguments separate for now -  its going to be food for thought
>On 1/30/07, Jack Park <jack.park@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>>  The OpenOntology page is interesting. Perhaps, particularly the link to
>>  Dylan's "The times are changing" is quite appropriate. Seems the times
>>  are, indeed, changin'. Doug Engelbart's call for mounting a collective
>>  assault on the many complex and urgent problems facing humanity seems
>>  ever more crucial. Al Einstein's (approximate) "we won't solve
>>  tomorrow's problems with today's thinking" also strikes home. It is with
>>  great pleasure that I take this opportunity to comment on Paola's call
>>  for an Open Ontology.
>>  In 2004, Steven Newcomb came to this forum [1] and spoke of topic maps.
>>  In 2006, Patrick Durusau and I came to this forum [2] and spoke of
>>  subject maps (perhaps: topic maps on steroids) and cultural federation,
>>  a term I coined to tell a particular story. (Let's agree up front that I
>  >   don't hold prior IP rights to that term, but I'd like to think I'm
>>  tackling an enormously complex social demon by resurrecting the term in
>>  the context of facilitating for everyone a view of the artifacts of
>>  other cultures without prior biases).
>>  Paola opens with:
>>  > With the term 'open ontology' we refer to a given set of agreed 
>>terms, both in terms of conceptualization and semantic 
>>formalization, that has been developed based on public 
>>consultation, that embodies and represents and synthesizes all 
>>available, valid knowledge that is deemed to pertain to a given 
>>domain, and is necessary to fulfill a given functional requirement.
>>  I suspect that most all members of this forum will agree with the
>>  argument that the search for agreed terms, any kind of terms, is, at
>>  once, problematic, and, um, problematic. I'm trying to be kind here. The
>>  search for a SUO appears to remain elusive. The arguments of the
>>  topic/subject maps folks have been that you might not need that
>>  agreement you seek, that it's a reasonable goal just to capture what it
>>  is that all people think, ponder it, discuss it, but not enforce
>>  "agreement" (whatever that might mean) through fiat judgments or even
>>  democratic votes.  An "Open Ontology" (whatever that means, and I think
>>  that's the nature of Paola's inquiry) need not seek agreement; rather it
>>  might simply need to capture "what people think".
>>  I am not arguing that there isn't a need for an agreed-upon ontology *in
>>  certain circumstances*, as we would expect from, say, a physician, a
>  > lawyer, or, dammit, a politician. But, does an Open Ontology need to be
>>  so? I would argue to the contrary. My, um, suggestion is that an Open
>>  Ontology, like Wikipedia, should try to tell all possible stories, from
>>  which individual tribes can draw as they fabricate context-sensitive
>>  ontologies to suit particular needs. I would like to think of an Open
>>  Ontology as one from which students can learn and to which domain
>>  experts can contribute without expectation of massive debate. A little
>>  chiding or polite argument, perhaps, but not debate.
>>  I offer these suggestions for requirements:
>>  * Open means just that: Open. Really open.
>>  * Really Open means open to all sorts of subjects being "ontologized" --
>>  that in search of the many potential synergies that emerge across often
>>  disparate disciplines
>>  * Really Open means that some classes/subjects/whatever can "ontologize"
>>  conflicting statements about "reality" (whatever that is). I have
>>  likened such conflicts as the equivalent of "wormholes", where each
>>  conflicting statement stands as a tiny, perhaps irritating light
>>  beckoning a viewer to take an "alice in wonderland" trip into another
>>  dimension (world view) just to see where the statement is coming from. I
>>  see that as facilitating opportunities for chance discovery. As a social
>>  enterprise (not unlike tagging, blogging, etc), over the long haul, the
>>  knowledge base can be "self correcting." In specialized, authoritative
>>  ontologies, being "self correcting" doesn't build confidence. In an Open
>>  Ontology, as with Wikipedia, quite the opposite seems true.
>>  * Facilities for discussion be provided, particularly in light of such
>>  things as purple numbers or what I call "augmented storytelling" [3],
>>  that is, respect for Doug Engelbart's call for high-performance
>>  addressability of information resources, rendering statements linkable
>>  and discussable at a much finer granularity than generally available
>>  * Functionality that supports detection of "same subject"
>>  representations, just to keep the ontology "on the same page" with each
>>  class, instance, property, or relationship
>>  * Self-documenting architecture: every property and relationship used
>>  is, itself, a first-class citizen in the same ontology -- for purposes
>>  of full disclosure of the meanings (whatever those are) of each entity
>>  in support of merging, linking, and more. That includes the rules
>>  applied to same-subject detection.
>>  * Editorial rights granted only to authors and superusers; unlike
>  > traditional wikis, the facility should not permit others to overwrite
>>  the works of others. The platform should facilitate structured
>>  discussions, perhaps along the lines of IBIS as suggested in [3].
>>  * Only authenticated individuals get any editorial rights.
>>  * A reputation and trust architecture rightfully belongs to whatever
>>  platform facilitates the fabrication and maintenance of an Open Ontology.
>>  It should be no surprise to some that I just described requirements that
>>  subject maps want to satisfy. Subject maps can be crafted in any way you
>>  like, even as a spreadsheet. So, it should also be no surprise that one
>>  could hack a subject map in OWL. I'm not sufficiently conversant in OWL
>>  to do so, so I just blaze solo trails in Java. It's all the same.
>>  I stand in violently respectful agreement with Paola's other "requirements".
>>  Jack
>>  [1] http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2004_06_10
>>  [2] http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ConferenceCall_2006_04_27
>>  [3] http://www.nexist.org/nsc2004/
>>  paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>  > HI Deborah
>>  >
>>  > with this thread I feel my arm is twisted to open up one of the topics
>>  > that I am working on before I manage to publish a paper - but
>>  > hopefully that will follow.
>>  >
>>  > The need has been identified for usability and ease of use in general
>>  > of ontologies and related instruments - I think the need now is 'write
>>  > requirements', also Rex Brooks confirmed that they need these kind of
>>  > high level guidelines so that 'ontology specifications' can be written
>  > > to fol low (standard development practice, surprisingly not followed
>>  > in ontology engineering)
>>  >
>>  > What you mention here, looks to me like a requirement for the Open
>>  > Ontology concept
>>  >
>>  > I opened a page, although I am reserving some rights there
>>  > so please feel free to evolve (for progress' sake)
>>  > http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?PaolaDiMaio/Towards_OpenOntology
>>  >
>>  >
>>  > Look forward to contribution
>>  >
>>  > Cheers
>>  >
>>  > PDM
>>  > Cause times, are changing
>>  > http://tinyurl.com/2gjprn
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >
>>  > On 1/30/07, Deborah MacPherson <debmacp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>  >> Please see this collection when you have time:
>>  >>
>>  >> http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/
>>  >>
>>  >> In the future, when upper level ontologies are defined, many of 
>>the examples
>>  >> shown here could help untrained users. The terms and precise definitions
>>  >> [ontolog-forum] is seeking may never be known by users, the precise
>>  >> definitions of various ontologies may only be useful to people 
>>making them
>>  >> rather than the people benefiting from them.
>>  >>
>>  >> What definitions and standards are out there in terms of number 
>>of items on
>>  >> a screen? number of steps?
>>  >>
>>  >> Thank you,
>>  >>
>>  >> Deborah MacPherson
>>  >>
>>  >> --
>>  >>
>>  >> *************************************************
>>  >>
>>  >> Deborah MacPherson
>>  >> www.accuracyandaesthetics.com
>>  >> www.deborahmacpherson.com
>>  >>
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>>    (011)

Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-849-2309    (012)

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